Aripex, sort of

I went off today to the only stamp show in Arizona, the annual Aripex. It is put on by the Federated Philatelic Societies of Arizona, or some such name.

Before I went I took a look at their very uninformative website. Most of it dates from one or three years ago.

There was something about the American Philatelic Society pulling their World Series of Philately standing for exhibits. In my mind, unfortunately, I did not properly translate to “no exhibits.” It was not explicitly stated. So I was disappointed to find no exhibits.

Online, they have the schedule for their presentations, for 2022. So it wasn’t until I arrived that I found I’d missed everything.

The bourse was much smaller in area than the last time I visited. And only about 2/3 full of dealers.

The five local stamp clubs all had big empty tables, because none of them bothered to show up.

And the Phoenix club didn’t even have a spot.

I don’t know what goes into getting table space here, but in other venues it’s usually only given if asked for.

So, with nothing going on, and no exhibits to look at, I left after ten minutes. I must in fairness say bourses generally don’t interest me at any kind of show or convention. I hate shopping.

They did not offer my $8 entry fee back, but I didn’t ask.

But I also think that really was my last stamp show.

Video: Shark *Bait* Week: Sardines

This time, it’s sardines!

Sardines are small, oily forage fish in the herring family Clupeidae.

The term “sardine” was first used in English during the early 15th century, it comes from the Italian island of Sardinia, around which sardines were once abundant. Pilchard is another term for the same group of fishes.

Some authorities consider the sardine to mean smaller, younger, pilchards.

The FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations considers 21 species that may be classed as sardines.

Sardines feed on zooplankton, and school wherever this is abundant.

This Ecuadorian stamp is from a series on export items. It was issued on April 22, 1986 and has a Scot number of 1137a. It has a watermark of the Coat of Arms of the Ecuador Military Geographic Institute. This commemorative stamp was designed by H. Galarza Gomez and printed by Instituto Geográfico Militar, Quito.

It has a perforation of 12½ and was printed by offset lithography, it has a face value of 10 Ecuadorian sucre. It had a print run of 200,000, and is from a souvenir sheet.

Sardines are commercially fished for bait; for eating fresh, or for drying, salting, or smoking. They are also used for fish meal and oil. Their oil is used for paint, varnish, and linoleum.

From South Korea, this stamp comes from a 1986 fishes series.

This commemorative has a Scott number of 1418, and was issued on July 25, 1986.

It has a comb perforation of 13¼ x 13 and was printed by photogravure.

The stamp has a face value of 70 South Korean won.

Though still fished commercially, the sardine business has collapsed in the United States and the United Kingdom. In the UK, what’s left of the industry is centered in Cornwall, and those are branded Cornish Sardines.

This stamp, featuring a Cornish Sardine comes from Great Britain, in a series on sustainable fish. It was issued June 5, 2014, and has a Scott number of 3299. There are variants.

The stamp was designed by Kate Stephens and printed using offset lithography by International Security Printers.

It has a perforation of 14 x 14½, with ordinary gum and phosphor paper.

This stamp has no face value, but is printed for 1st class postage.

John Steinbeck centered his novel Cannery Row in Monterey, California. It was once the sardine canning capital of the United States. The last U.S. cannery closed in 2010.

The Monterey canning industry began with salmon around the turn of the 20th century, but 1.4 million cases of sardines were being turned out by 1918 in support of the troops in World War I.

This Tunisian stamp, is from a series on the fishes of Tunisia. It was issued on July 15, 2012, and has a Scott number of 1535.

This commemorative was printed by offset lithography, and has a comb perforation of 13½.

There were 500,000 printed with a face value of 600 Tunisean milim.

After the second World War, the sardine fishery collapsed, and the canneries started to close.

Today the area is a tourist destination, and sardines can be seen in the Monterey Bay Aquarium at one end of Cannery Row.

Video: Shark *Bait* Week: Herring

This is Shark *Bait* Week. It’s a bit of a twist on last year’s Shark Stamp Week.

I’m sharing some information about shark prey animals that have appeared on stamps from around the world. And sharing stamps, too, of course.

This is about herring.

There are over 200 species of fishes called herrings, mostly belonging to the family of Clupeidae. Three, the Atlantic herring, the Pacific herring, and the Baltic herring make up about 90% of all herring commercially fished.

This stamp comes from the Federal Republic of Germany, or west Germany. It is a semipostal stamp, with a surcharge going to youth programs.

This stamp was issued in the saltwater fish series.

It was issued on August 4, 2016, and has a Scott number of B1119.

It was designed by Werner Hans Schmidt, and printed by Bundesdrukerei using offset lithography. The perforation is 13¾. And it has ordinary gum. The paper is fluorescent.

The stamp has a face value of 70 Euro cents for postage, and a 30 cent semipostal charge.

Herring are pelagic fish, which means they live up in the water column, not near the bottom.

Herring often move in large schools around shallow banks, and near the coast. They are regularly found in shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans, including the Baltic Sea.

This stamp hails from Estonia, and is part of a series featuring the national fish, herring.

This commemorative was issued on February 23, 2017, and was designed by Indrek Ilves.

It has a perforation of 13, and 50,000 were printed by offset lithography.

The stamp has a face value of 0.65 Euros.

Herrings are silvery-colored fish, with a single dorsal fin along the back. With so many species, their size of course varies from about 6 to 18 inches (14-46 cm), and up to about 1.5 lbs (700 g).

Herrings eat copepods, krill, and other drifting animals and plants. They are mainly filter feeders, swimming along with their mouths open and taking in anything that comes along. Sometimes they will notice and lunge for larger floating prey.

Herrings are also forage fish. Forage fishes are those that occur in large numbers, and are an important food for larger predators.

Those predators include seabirds, marine mammals such as dolphins, porpoises, whales, seals, and sea lions, and fish such as sharks, billfish, tuna, salmon, striped bass, cod, and halibut.

Coming from Iceland this herring stamp has a Scott number of 222, and there are variants.

The stamps were printed by recess printing, and it was issued on March 6, 1945 as a definitive with a perforation of 14. Before 1953 it had a print run of one million.

The face value is 10 Icelandic eyrir.

Adult herring are caught by humans for their meat and eggs, and they are often used as baitfish to catch larger sea creatures.

The herring industry is essentially irreplacable in the economies of several countries around the world, and it is considered the most economically important fish in the world.

I hope you enjoyed this!

Video: Shark *Bait* Week: Yellowfin Tuna

This is Shark *Bait* Week. It’s a bit of a twist on last year’s Shark Stamp Week.

I’ll be sharing some information about shark prey animals that have appeared on stamps from around the world. And sharing stamps, too, of course.

I hope you enjoy this week!

In 2021, I organized the stamps by country since so many issue sets of shark stamps, this time I’m organizing by subject, so the countries will jump around a bit.

Today’s subject is the yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares, is also called ahi, from the Hawaiian name for the fish.

This stamp is from Saint Helena’s Marine Life series. It was issued July 12, 1985 and has a Scott number of 436.

The stamp is watermarked.

It is a commemorative with a comb perforation of 13 x 13½, and was printed by offset lithography. It has a face value of 33 Saint Helena pennies.

Yellowfin are one of the larger tunas, and can weigh over 400 lb (180 kg). They can also grow up to 7 ft 10 in (2.4 m) long. Only the bluefin tuna are larger.

Yellowfin are epipelagic fish, which means they inhabit the mixed, warmer, surface layers of the ocean. Tracking has found that yellowfin tuna mostly range in the top 330 ft (100 m) of the water column.

Reportedly swimming depth can vary with time of day. During the night, they stay in water shallower than 289 ft (88 m), but during the day they may spend some time down to 620 ft (190 m).

Yellowfin tuna dive more deeply infrequently, but they can dive to considerable depths. An individual tagged in the Indian Ocean made three dives almost 4000 ft (1,100 m). The deepest yellowfin dive recorded is 5,223 ft (1,592 m.

This stamp from Tokelau’s marine fish series is a commemorative issued on October 3, 2012.

The comb perforation is 13¾ x 13½.

Printed by offset lithography, it has a face value of 40 New Zealand cents.

Despite staying relatively near the surface, yellowfin tuna are found mostly in deeper offshore waters, though they sometimes come inshore in special conditions.

Mid-ocean islands such as the Hawaiian islands, the Maldives, and places such as Ascension Island and Saint Helena, may have schools of yellowfin feeding nearshore where baitfish congregate.

Yellowfin tuna usually travel in schools with similarly sized fishes. Schools of young yellowfin and skipjack tuna are common.

Yellowfin will often school with dolphins and porpoises, as well as with larger whales, and even whale sharks.

The stamp here is from the French Southern and Antarctic Lands tuna fishing series.

Issued on January 2, 2017, this commemorative has a comb perforation of 13¼ x 13

Printing was by offset lithography and recess printing.

The stamp has a face value of 0.44 Euro, and had a print run of 46,000

The fish can also be found around drifting flotsam, such as logs and pallets, even follow moving vessels. Smaller fishes often use such places as shelter, so the predatory yellowfin take advantage of that.

Prey of the yellowfin tuna include other, smaller fishes, pelagic crustaceans, and squid.

Like all tunas, their body shape is adapted for speed, enabling them to pursue and capture fast-moving baitfish including flying fish, sauries, and mackerel. Schooling fishes such as anchovies, and sardines are frequent prey.

Large yellowfin will prey on smaller tunas such as frigate mackerel, and skipjack tuna.

In turn, yellowfin are preyed upon when young by other pelagic hunters, including larger tuna, seabirds, and predatory fishes such as wahoo, sharks, and billfishes.

Adults are threatened only by the largest and fastest hunters, such as toothed whales, particularly the false killer whale, pelagic sharks such as mako and great white, and large marlin.

Industrial tuna fisheries are their most deadly predator, however.

From Madagascar comes this 1982 fishes series stamp, with a Scott number of 650. It was issued on December 14, 1982

This commemorative has a comb perforation of 11¼.

Offset lithography was the printing method, and it has a face value of 50 Malagasy francs.

Yellowfins are very fast fish swimming up to 47 miles per hour (20.8 m/s).

One of the most surprising things, for many, is that tuna are warm-blooded, or endothermic. Their muscle movement at least partly contributes to this. The muscles are in essentially constant movement propelling their bodies through the water, and this generates heat. Their body retains some of this, and they can bring their bodies to quite impressive temperatures. In fact, tuna brought onboard a fishing boat must be quickly iced down so that their body heat does not start cooking the dead fish.

They are a frequently eaten tuna, and yellowfin is widely used in raw fish dishes like sashimi. They are also excellent for grilling, often served seared rare.

Seafood sustainability advocates come to different conclusions about whether yellowfin fishing is sustainable. The Audubon Society lists troll-caught tuna as “OK”, but labels long-line caught as “Be Careful”.

Greenpeace meanwhile, lists yellowfin on its seafood red list.

Despite this bit of controversy, yellowfin is becoming a popular replacement for the severely depleted supplies of southern bluefin tuna.

Thank you for joining me for this, part of Shark *Bait* Week 2022. I hope you enjoyed it

Video Special: Swap and Research

Ted the Talking Stamp Collector challenged me to a “swap and research”. He sent me stamps, I sent him stamps, and we were to research them and upload videos about them at the same time.

We have done that, and here is my contribution. Below is the link to Ted’s channel and the original swap and researchers.

The stamps he sent me are airmail stamps from WWII occupied Greece, featuring Greek mythology and gods. Plus some history.

Ted’s video

Ted Talks Stamps Channel

The Original Swap and Research Videos (I think):

Richard Philatelist

Cat Stamps

Buy me a Ko-fi:

Tip Jar:

Video: Selvage: The Edge of Postage Stamps

I was asked about whether to keep or remove selvage. Here are some thoughts. (video available after 10am Mountain Time, US.






Buy me a Ko-fi:

Tip Jar: